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St. Lawrence Brewery to start canning


CANTON — The St. Lawrence Brewing Co. will begin canning its beer next month, placing its product on store shelves as well as on tap.

The brewery began distributing its beer in June, and its tasting room opened in August. It since has signed with three distributors that are selling the beer to bars across the north country and the state, owner Kenneth M. Hebb said.

The biggest focus now is on creating loyalty among the brewery’s existing customers while continuing to get the product into as many bars as possible.

“We’re just trying to build the volume among those places and getting them into other places,” Mr. Hebb said.

The brewery will hire We Can Mobile Canning, Danville, Pa., to handle the job. According to Mr. Hebb, several area stores already plan to carry the beer, and distributors will stock it in locations outside the north country.

Traditionally, canning has been seen as the realm of cheap, mass-produced beer, with craft brews belonging in bottles. Mr. Hebb said he expects that will change in coming years.

“Cans are a far superior product. Yes, the can itself is cheaper than a bottle, but it’s also lighter, it costs less money to ship both ways, it uses more recycled product,” he said.

They’re easier to pack, they keep out light to avoid spoilage and they’re not nearly as easy to break as glass bottles, he said.

“In the craft industry, the trend is overwhelmingly towards cans,” he said. “I think people’s opinions on cans will start to shift.”

The brewery recently received a $30,000 loan from the North Country Alliance Local Development Corp., and is seeking an additional $90,000 to continue to expand.

In addition to its four year-round beers, the brewery has been experimenting with seasonal brews such as its cranberry ale.

Mr. Hebb said he is always looking for feedback from his customers. “Tell us what you like and what you don’t like about our beer. It’s an ever-evolving process,” he said.

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